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Coronavirus – Teacher Unions Call for School Closures

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.03.12.

The PSZ and PDSZ teacher unions are calling on the government to order a suspension of classes at all schools in Hungary due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, PSZ leader Zsuzsa Szabó said.

Speaking at a press conference, Szabó said PSZ disagreed with the government’s decision not to apply the state of emergency declared on Wednesday to schools, citing worldwide public school closures.

Szabó argued that although few children and young people were getting infected with the virus, they presented a “high risk” to others as potential virus carriers. She added that closing schools would also protect teachers whose average age range is 48-50.

She said both Hungary’s education law and the human resources ministry resolution regulating the school calendar allowed for extraordinary school breaks. Even if schools could not make up for all of the time lost during such a break, the law would allow for them to cover any leftover material in the 2020-2021 school year, she argued.

PDSZ also argued in favour of closing schools, saying that schools could still get through the curriculum by moving to distance learning.